A pragmatic perspective on mental disorders by psychiatrists of Karachi, Pakistan: A qualitative study

  • Rehana Khalil Department of Family & Community Medicine, Unaizah College of Medicine & Medical Sciences, Qassim University, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia https://orcid.org/0000-0001-6064-1537
  • Zahid Naeem Department of Community Medicine, Shifa College of Medicine, Shifa Tameer-e-Millat University, Islamabad, Pakistan
  • Allah Bachayo Rajar Department of Community Medicine, Muhammad Medical College, MirpurKhas, Pakistan
  • Uroosa Talib Karwan-e-Hayat Psychiatric Care & Rehabilitation Center, Karachi, Pakistan
Keywords: Pragmatic perspective, mental disorders in Pakistan, psychiatrist's perspective, qualitative study


Introduction: There is an alarming rise in mental health problems in Pakistan, due to various reasons including genetic vulnerability. There is a paucity of reliable and updated data on mental illnesses in Pakistan.

Objective: The main objective of our study was to explore the perspective of psychiatrists on frequency of mental disorders, their related factors and expected recovery from mental illnesses in a Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation center of Karachi, Pakistan.

Methodology: This qualitative study was conducted at the Karwan-e-Hayat Psychiatric Care and Rehabilitation center, Karachi, Pakistan from Dec 2019 to April 2020. Seventeen study participants were recruited through purposive sampling and data was collected through in-depth interviews. Qualitative thematic analysis of content was done though generation of a coding scheme.

Results: Analysis of the interview transcripts revealed two main themes related to psychiatrists’ views about mental disorders in Pakistan; (1) Contributing and consequential correlates of mental disorders (2) Effective therapeutic strategies and recovery rate from mental disorders.

Conclusion: Our study concluded that mental disorders are increasing with high proportion of psychosis and schizophrenia cases in Pakistan. The productive young age group and male gender are most commonly affected. The factors associated with mental disorders include lower socio-economic status, Low-literacy, divorce, exposure to traumatic events like violence and political turmoil, and sleep disturbances. The recovery rate from mental disorders is promising with integrative approach including pharmacological, psychosocial and care management strategies.


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How to Cite
Khalil R, Naeem Z, Rajar A, Talib U. A pragmatic perspective on mental disorders by psychiatrists of Karachi, Pakistan: A qualitative study. JSTMU [Internet]. 9Aug.2020 [cited 22Oct.2020];3(1):34 -1. Available from: https://j.stmu.edu.pk/ojs/index.php/jstmu/article/view/93